The mainstream media has perpetuated a sacred narrative that we are expected to buy into unconditionally and without exception: Conservatives — and by proxy the GOP presidential candidates — are extremists who must come to the middle to court the coveted moderates if we want any chance of winning in 2012.
The mythology we are made to believe tells us that we as conservatives must tone it down. We ought to take a few steps to the left and move closer to the voice of reason — the Democratic Party and the gods of liberalism. They are, after all, the moderate ones, the levelheaded ones, the centrist ones. One problem with the mythology of the mainstream media: it’s just that, a baseless myth.
Euhemerus, an ancient Greek mythographer, suggested that myths began as distorted historical accounts of real events. Through continually articulating the imaginative re-writing of history, the myth is accepted as truth and the actors in them elevated to the status of gods.
The mainstream media has taken on the role of mythmaker. They repeatedly color events in such a way that paints the liberals as logical and conservatives as extreme. No matter how far left the Democratic Party moves or how outrageous their rhetoric becomes, they will remain the gods of reason and commonsense. And regardless of how rational conservatives are, the Republican Party will be dubbed the god of extremism and bigotry.
But let me challenge the mythmakers of the mainstream media with something they avoid like the plague: the truth.
An article in the Economist last week dubbed the GOP field as “cranky, extreme, backward-looking, detached from the mainstream,” and thereby “unelectable.” This is nothing new — all part of driving forward the myth. But the truth? If the Democrats don’t tone it down and move to the center, they are the ones at risk of losing the White House.
Take a look at some of the less-than-moderate statements the Democrats have made over the last few months.
On October 27, Obama said this to students at University of Colorado-Denver:
We can’t wait for Congress to do its job. So where they won’t act, I will. We’re going to look every single day to figure out what we can do without Congress.
And he has done just that with the unconstitutional recess appointments of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and three new appointees to the National Labor Relations Board.
I’m pretty sure discounting the Constitution and completely ignoring one branch of government will not fly very well with the beloved moderates.
Better come back to the middle, Obama.
In a rare moment of brilliance last month, Majority Leader Harry Reid said this on job creation:
Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They’re impossible to find and don’t exist.
Not sure what to label this statement if not “extreme.” Perhaps “false” would be another accurate description. (Paul Roderick Gregory of Forbes does an in-depth analysis of Reid’s fuzzy, imprecise calculations here.)